Britain’s ‘Zone of Interest’ wins best international film Oscar

By Thomson Reuters Mar 10, 2024 | 7:26 PM

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Britain’s “The Zone of Interest,” about a German officer’s family living next door to the Auschwitz extermination camp during World War Two, won the Oscar for best international feature film on Sunday.

The movie centers on the commandant Rudolf Hoss and his family as they set up a life next to the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland, where more than 1.1 million people were murdered in the largest of the concentration camps and extermination centers built by the Nazis.

Accepting the award, director Jonathan Glazer said the film, which explored the capacity for violence in all people and was shot entirely at Auschwitz, was relevant to the global conflicts happening today.

“All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present, not to say look what they did then. Rather, look what we do now,” Glazer said. “Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst.”

Glazer earlier made “Sexy Beast” and “Under the Skin.”

The movie, based on a novel by the late Martin Amis, relies on sound, rather than on-screen violence, to convey the horror of the death camp, contrasted with the family’s seemingly ordinary lives.

“The Zone of Interest,” which also won the Grand Prix at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, is also nominated for best picture and best director Oscars.

Other nominees in the category were “Perfect Days” from Japan, Spain’s “Society of the Snow,” “The Teacher’s Lounge” from Germany, and Italy’s “Io Capitano.”

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Writing by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)